Skillshare Classes I’m Taking & Loving

I have been on a Skillshare kick lately, and I wanted to share some of my favorite classes.

Introduction to Procreate: Illustrating on the iPad Pro with Procreate

I’ve been using Procreate for 6+ months now, and I still learned so many tricks during this class. I took the class on my lunch break one day at work, and I couldn’t wait to get home and try some of her techniques. Next time I plan to rematch when I have my iPad in front of me.

Shortcuts to Map Making for Illustrators: Illustrate Your Favorite City

I love illustrated maps, and one of my illustration goals is to start making my own. I even drew a little map of our venue for the back of our wedding invitations! I’d eventually like to create an illustrated map of Boston that I can screen print onto totes or tea towels, but the first step is to learn the technique itself. I haven’t finished this class yet, but I’m enjoy it so far—and it’s just fun to look at all of Anne’s illustrations!

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Product Photography Basics for Your Handmade Business

If I’m being honest, I haven’t been spending as much energy on my Etsy shop as when I first started it, and it’s showing. Taking Kristina Turner’s class on simple and professional product photos (that don’t require a ton of equipment) is one of the steps I’m taking to improve my shop. The class is well-paced and full of tips that feel very do-able for someone who isn’t doing this full-time. I purchased a simple tripod for my DSLR the other day, and I can’t wait for a cloudy day to get started.

Teacher Tips: Building a Successful Skillshare Channel

Skillshare’s been beefing up its teacher support system this year, and I am loving it! One of my goals this year is to publish two more classes and I want to start building my channel and brand on there with better quality videos.

Teacher Tips: Easy Tips and Tricks for Using iMovie to Edit Your Skillshare Class

I’ve been waiting for a class like this since I started teaching on Skillshare! The hardest part for me is editing the video for my classes, and this intro to iMovie was such a great crash course to get me started. I’m actually excited to edit my next class because of Tabitha’s course. I even went back and edited the intro video for my screen printing class because of it!

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What classes have you been taking and loving? Anything you’re interested in learning? If you haven’t heard of Skillshare (or you want to give it a try), you can get two free months of Premium right now!

#the100dayproject

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I’ve decided to try the 100 day project again this year! Last year I made it so close to finishing and completely lost steam, but I’m taking what I learned from that experience and loosening up the restrictions. Last year I set out to carve 100 stamps and then create patterns from those stamps. I experimented in stampmaking more than I would have otherwise, but it was really difficult when I travelled or had plans after work. I found myself playing catch up at the end of most weeks, which completely defeated the purpose of creating every day.

This year, I want to create a gratitude list in illustrations, or rather 100 illustrations of my favorites—things, activities, places, and (this one scares me) people. Some days I might doodle all of my favorite flavors of ice cream and some days I might draw my closest friends. One day I might letter my favorite quote from an overheard conversation on the train! Who knows! My main goal is to practice illustrating each day, pushing myself to draw things out of my comfort zone, and to just experiment with different illustration styles. I spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about things I’d like to draw rather than actually drawing, so this is my chance to follow through.

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I’m a little nervous that this year’s project ends three days before my wedding (I could be crazy), but I’m excited to have a little illustrated journal of the last 100 days before I get married! I hope to use this project as a break from the chaos of planning a wedding rather than adding more stress to the process.

How I’m preparing:

  • Brainstorming ahead of time. I’m overwhelmed by creative ideas every day when I’m tied to my day job, but by the time I finish my 1+ hour commute home, my brain has shut down, and I feel like I’ll never have a good idea again. Having a note of jotted down ideas will help on those days.
  • Telling people! I’m putting it out there that this is my goal, and I plan to engage with the community on Instagram throughout. There’s something powerful in complete strangers bonding over a shared challenge, and I look forward to cheering people on and accepting encouragement when I need it.
  • Preparing for when I don’t have time. These are the 100-ish days before my wedding, so I’ll be simultaneously making stuff for that, going to my bachelorette party and bridal shower, hosting family members, and traveling around to visit vendors and the venue. Remembering to charge my iPad and Apple pencil ahead of time (and bring them with me!) will be a major factor in succeeding.

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If you’re not familiar with the 100 day project, you should check out the project website. There’s a list of simple steps to help you get started including signing up for the newsletter and following the founders of the 100 day project—Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean—on Instagram. I also really loved Elise’s Instagram stories about how she’s preparing and how to get motivated.

You can see everyone else’s projects by following the #the100dayproject hashtag—my favorites to follow along with last year were @bydylanm‘s #100daysofillustrationbydylanm and @elisejoy‘s #100plantsonfabric—and follow my project at #100daysofMJSfaves. I’d love to hear what you’re doing (if anything) for the project; share your hashtag so I can follow along!

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